NFL is planning for a full season with full stadiums

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At a time when the entire American sports industry is shut down (with very limited exceptions) due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL intends to not lose 2020 regular-season games to the crisis.

During a conference call with reporters held on Tuesday, NFL general counsel Jeff Pash said the league is planning for a full season.

“That’s my expectation,” Pash said. “Am I certain? I’m not certain I will be here tomorrow. But I’m planning on it, and I’m planning on a full season.”

Pash separately said that the season would begin on time, and that the games would be played before fans in full stadiums (or, in some cities, stadiums that would not be full unrelated to the virus). He nevertheless acknowledged that much will depend on the public-health situation. But he mentioned that the modeling the league has received suggests that “we may not have to get very far down that road.”

It’s hard to imagine the NFL playing a full season that would begin as scheduled on Thursday, September 10, with the Chiefs hanging a banner to kick off the campaign. The league is nevertheless optimistic, at least for now, that circumstances will allow that game and the next 255 — followed by 13 postseason games — to happen.

74 responses to “NFL is planning for a full season with full stadiums

  1. Based on the manner in which people are continuing to behave, the NFL is dreaming if they think there is going to be a full, or any season.

  2. Of course that’s what they’re planning if you’re paying attention to the numbers of new cases it’s already starting to diminish, and they are planning on lifting all orders, and getting most schools back in session the first week of May for those states that have cancelled them completely. Since the season doesn’t start until September why wouldn’t the NFL be ready? I mean most people hate the preseason as it is so it’s no loss if those games get cancelled…Bring it on let’s get this season going!!

  3. …. and I’m planning on hitting the MEGA MILLIONS and POWER BALL on consecutive nights as well. This is only just getting started. We may not even reach the apex of the infection curve until July or August and only then does it mean we will start to see a reduction in infections. It’s not like it’s one day gonna go poof and everything goes back to normal and we can start packing stadiums again.

  4. Denial is the first stage of grieving. At the very least, football season will be delayed this year.

  5. It is asinine to think that in 6 months we’re not going to be drastically better off than we are now. We’ll be way down in #s of cases and deaths and the overall “new and unknown” virus will be getting treated widely.

  6. It’s not hard to imagine at all and that is what will happen. Yes, this virus is terrible and measures are being taken now to slow the spread. However, this is not the black death. In 30 days things will look a lot different. Massive amounts of tests will be made. Thousands of hospital beds will be added. The first wave will be over. A disease with a .6% mortality rate is not going to stop life as we know it for months upon months.

  7. Rumor (or in this case rumour) has it that London will be in lockdown for up to six more months (say ending October 1st). That would probably disrupt at least two, if not all four, of the games.

  8. So either a vaccine is found and approved and the 300 plus million US citizens are given shots or the other 80% to 90% of the 300 plus million not exposed are given covid 19 and hopefully develop antibodies or everyone is tested which would me isolating tested from untested (given the have it are isolated too) until all are tested, should be easy by the end of summer. The issue is not enough no they have it and are exposing others, until that stops this will keep rolling along until medicine/vaccine stops it.

  9. If you people think we will still be locked down in Sept your nuts. No way this continues into July or August.

  10. Of course that’s what they’re planning if you’re paying attention to the numbers of new cases it’s already starting to diminish, and they are planning on lifting all orders, and getting most schools back in session the first week of May for those states that have cancelled them completely. Since the season doesn’t start until September why wouldn’t the NFL be ready? I mean most people hate the preseason as it is so it’s no loss if those games get cancelled…Bring it on let’s get this season going!!

    ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    What planet do you live on that the cases are already starting to diminish? Where? I see over 180 thousand cases.. I see 3700 people dead.,. Trump (I think the guy is a dotard) says that he expects 100,000 dead if we do everything right.. so that if 96,000 more than are already gone… wake up.. there is no way a stadium is going to be packed with 70 or 80 thousand people in 5 months.. not in this reality..

  11. So either a vaccine is found and approved and the 300 plus million US citizens are given shots or the other 80% to 90% of the 300 plus million not exposed are given covid 19 and hopefully develop antibodies or everyone is tested which would me isolating tested from untested (given the have it are isolated too) until all are tested, should be easy by the end of summer. The issue is not enough no they have it and are exposing others, until that stops this will keep rolling along until medicine/vaccine stops it.

    …………………………………….

    No vaccine for a year.. so that is out… if 300 million people got Covid 19 3 million would die… millions more would be in the hospitals that don’t exist. Everyone getting Covid.. the vast majority of people would be fine.. but hospitals aren’t going to be able to manage those that would need them.. not even close. We have 180 now and they are already at their limit… give them like 10 million? Game over.

  12. Or…….. they want to take a pragmatic approach and plan for business as usual, then shut it off if it does t work out, rather than take the chicken little approach that seems to be en vogue right now.

  13. If this country continues to be shut down like this until September, football is the least of our worries. There has to be a solution where major industries can start working again while still taking necessary precautions. The “keep everything shut down until nobody can catch the virus” people are not being realistic.

  14. I also had plans for this year, that has all changed. I think the NFL’s plans will change also.

  15. They should plan for it. That along with the epic “everybody gets a Unicorn ride” fan appreciation event.

    They’re both seem just as likely to happen.

    (Don’t get me wrong – I hope they are playing on time. They almost have to be, because if they’re not, that would mean the world economy has been shut down for months – and the economic repercussions of that long a shutdown may well be as bad (if not worse) than the virus that got us there.)

  16. What’s not being discussed is the fact many, if not most, NFL will be taking a huge hit to their income because of this pandemic and simply won’t be able to afford to fill those stadiums.

  17. We need to close everything up until November. People need to see the destruction Trump has caused when they go vote.

  18. We can stamp this thing out in 2 months, we are still America. We’ll all do our part and by mid-summer things will be getting back to normal. Be safe be smart be patient

  19. And I am planning on Mila Kunis and Kaley Cuoco dropping by the hot tub when this social distancing is over. I am willing to bet Vegas would give me better odds.

  20. The COVID Kid says:
    “Or…….. they want to take a pragmatic approach and plan for business as usual, then shut it off if it does t work out, rather than take the chicken little approach that seems to be en vogue right now”.

    Or maybe you can pull your head out of where the sun down shine and wake up. This is just in it’s infancy. It didn’t take the United States long to reach the highest infection rate of any country in the world so nobody has a model for what we might be doing through as it’s in it’s infancy. This will get a lot worse before we even know if it’s going to get better any time soon. I chose to educate myself and this isn’t chicken little talk. This is the reality I chose not to ignor.

  21. Starting on time, and with full stadiums? A lot of dominos have to fall just the right way for that to happen. Look at how much things have changed in just one month. Right now, this is wishful thinking on Pash’s part and nothing more. I would not make any predictions about anything this Fall, especially since COVID-19 may make a return visit.

  22. We can stamp this thing out in 2 months, we are still America. We’ll all do our part and by mid-summer things will be getting back to normal. Be safe be smart be patient

    ——————————-

    In America Science is seen as an opinion and that is why we are in deep trouble

  23. This guy is positively delusional. This pandemic has yet to run its course. While the number of confirmed cases and deaths has started to decline in other countries–Germany, Spain, Italy, China, South Korea, Singapore, due to their aggressive response–it’s spiking in the US, due to the ineptitude and utter lack of leadership in this administration. Not to mention, Dr. Fauci expects a second wave coming this fall.

    Millions of Americans are experiencing economic hardship and job loss. Any return to normalcy is months in the distant future. People are scared and suffering.

    The NFL can be optimistic all it wants, but it should be realistic. Playing a full season remains a possibility, although that could change in a month. Playing in front of full stadiums? Not a chance.

  24. There will not be a 2020 football season, pay attention to what the medical experts are telling you about the months following April and not sports team owners and executives.

    Life will continue without the NFL for 1 year, it really will.

  25. If this took a little longer I am sure they could start the season in October and have the SB in March. NFL players have plenty of time off during the off season. But they probably don’t want to inconvienve the big wigs spending on the SB.

  26. A disease with a .6% mortality rate is not going to stop life as we know it for months upon months.

    =====================================

    You need to check your numbers.

  27. This will all be over soon enough. No matter what happens, this country can not stay shutdown indefinitely. That’s just fact.

  28. Does this mean we get new helmet and uniform unveilings soon from the teams making changes?

    At least that would offer a minor distraction from the day-to-day.

  29. There’s simply no way to know what 5 1/2 months may bring. I wouldn’t say it’s crazy to plan, or say it’s not likely. Ask me in two more months when we see what China and Italy are like.

  30. Given that Jeff Pash has a history of ignorance of the Ideal Gas Law, he’s not high on my list of people to believe.

  31. People spend “disposable income” on things like the NFL. In these times, there is currently no such thing as disposable income. While people may want, badly, to get out of the house and do something like go to a game, the cost in these uncertain times will cause a LOT of them to reconsider spending the money on NFL tickets.

  32. dtroxallday says:
    March 31, 2020 at 6:08 pm
    A disease with a .6% mortality rate is not going to stop life as we know it for months upon months.

    =====================================

    You need to check your numbers.

    ========

    You’re right. According to the latest cdc numbers, there have been 2,860 deaths out of 163.539 known cases in the us. That’s a 1.7% mortality rate. A far cry from the 3-4% originally reported. Also, the 1.7% doesn’t factor in all of the people who had it (and lived) and were never tested.

    I suspect the cdc number will drop to below 1% as testing comtinues to become more readily available.

  33. This is not about a vaccine you dingleberries, this 100% about an infrastructure (healthcare) that could be broken. As soon as hospitals are ready to adequately support the volume/demand of cases with readily available ventilators, beds etc etc – you better believe we are going to open for business. We are not gnna crash the economy people. You freaks, I can’t stand people that think everything is going to be bad all the time and forever. This is temporary, there will be life in the fall. If we are in some sort of national lockdown still by September – then something else will have gone down and we’re gnna be in for it

  34. maximusintoxicus says:
    March 31, 2020 at 5:24 pm
    The COVID Kid says:
    “Or…….. they want to take a pragmatic approach and plan for business as usual, then shut it off if it does t work out, rather than take the chicken little approach that seems to be en vogue right now”.

    Or maybe you can pull your head out of where the sun down shine and wake up. This is just in it’s infancy. It didn’t take the United States long to reach the highest infection rate of any country in the world so nobody has a model for what we might be doing through as it’s in it’s infancy. This will get a lot worse before we even know if it’s going to get better any time soon. I chose to educate myself and this isn’t chicken little talk. This is the reality I chose not to ignor.

    ========

    I won’t argue your level of education, but the numbers don’t lie. As testing becomes more readily available, the mortality rate continues to drop. This is not the 4% killer number that everyone rushed to put out without sufficient data.

    That is the very definition of chicken little syndrome.

  35. I kind of hope there is no season, just to see all the “Fantasy” football clowns freak out. Nothing is as sad as seeing a grown man wearing a jersey with someone elses name on it. In fact if you are older than 14, you should not wear a jersey of any kind. Time to dust off the Cheeto dust, and go do something worthwhile.

  36. People seem to think a 1.5% or 1% or 0.5% death rate isn’t a big deal, but they are overlooking the hospitalization rate.
    The hospitalization rate of those 25-45 is over 10%, and for 55-65 its over 20%.
    Those 80+ and in poor health are far more likely to die.
    If many people people get sick at once, there won’t be enough hospital care (ventilators, doctors) to treat them all so the death rate will be far greater. In addition Covid19 survivors may have lung damage or heart damage. If the USA gets 100,000,000 cases over the course of the year, the death rate will be closer to 3%. And there will be others with lung and heart damage.

    Don’t kid yourselves, this is going to get a lot worse in 2020.

  37. “if you’re paying attention to the numbers of new cases it’s already starting to diminish”

    Um, 34,000+ new cases since yesterday. Not, the numbers of new cases are not “already starting to diminish”, there are in fact growing numbers of cases and deaths every day and likely will be for at least another 2 weeks if not longer.

  38. By June 17 all will be back to normal with the exception that people will wear masks when they have a cold.

  39. You forget one thing if the economy crashes … people can’t afford to go to the games.

  40. “People seem to think a 1.5% or 1% or 0.5% death rate isn’t a big deal, but they are overlooking the hospitalization rate.
    The hospitalization rate of those 25-45 is over 10%, and for 55-65 its over 20%.”

    Governor here in RI said today we will likely run out of hospital beds in this state, which means the military will have to set up field hospitals too.

    And as it stands now, the hospitals here have no way to segregate coronavirus victims in different hospitals from non-coronavirus patients.

  41. 5+ months out is good amount of time. I hope its enough time to squash this virus. I’m having trouble with the life change its brought after only the past 2-3 weeks… On the positive side for some of those that have been wearing a mask … thank you…it’s an improvement.

  42. Even if they somehow get to practicing (very unlikely), the second ONE player contracts the virus, they shut it all down. There will be zero nfl or NCAA football in 2020. You think these guys will want to play against a team that was exposed to the virus? Zero chance. Only a vaccine can get the sports world going again, and that is 1-2 years away, or, if everybody gets the virus and we know we can demonstrate immunity. We don’t even know if the second scenario is possible yet. Get used to re runs on ESPN.

    Football and sports in general are on the bottom of the list in terms of priority right now. I know a lot of people rely on sports for an occupation, but they’ll have to find something else. It’s not fair but that’s the reality.

  43. Everybody is a medical expert. The real truth is none of us know anything. The media employs those that think like them politically and push their agendas. The real shame? We can trust nobody to give us accurate and unbiased information.

  44. Under the current conditions,…. I think it’s unnecessary to be concerned about NFL or College football. Let’s just take this situation week by week and come June 1st re-evaluate.
    There’s no good reason for the NFL to be making statements about the upcoming season right now. All it will accomplish is letting people down should this virus still be devastating the country in May.
    My best wishes to all,.. stay safe,.. wash your hands regularly,… and let’s hope all the frontline medical workers stay safe too.

  45. Well, let’s see. 830 people died of corona virus yesterday alone, setting a new record for single-day death count, a record that will be broken soon.

    The rate of infection is accelerating rapidly, and the number of confirmed cases of infection is rising exponentially by the week. Here in the Rio Grande Valley, the number of confirmed cases doubled over that last two days. The entire area, which is larger than several small states combined, is under shelter-in-place or stay-at-home order. Deputy sheriffs wearing face masks are breaking up small crowds and pulling over drivers, issuing warnings now, tickets later for noncompliance. Nonessential businesses are closed. Essential businesses are limiting the number of customers allowed in stores at a given time. Restaurants only offer carryout. Grocery stores do not allow whole families to shop–leave the children at home. Schools and churches are closed. Large gatherings are not permitted. The economy has essentially been shut down.

    Many entire states are under similar orders and suffering similar conditions. 80% of the population, in fact.

    Nationwide, 3 million people filed for unemployment last week, with many, many more to come. People are losing jobs. People are getting sick. People are dying. Hospitals are stressed, overfilled, understaffed and undersupplied. Businesses are failing. The stock market is crashing. The economy is spiraling downward into a severe recession, if not a greater depression.

    You might not want to hear it, but if you can’t see it, you’re blind. It’s going to be a long, cruel summer.

    This virus is not going away. The total failure of the federal government at all levels, and the utter lack of leadership by the president, has allowed this pandemic the spread like wildfire unimpeded. And it’s going to get a lot worse, before it gets any better.

    Return to normalcy is years, not months, in the distant future. Anyone who thinks that come fall, everything will magically become sunshine and roses, unicorns and rainbows, doesn’t have a functional brain cell.

    The NFL needs to wrap its mind around this grim reality. There won’t be cheering fans filling stadiums, not this season. In fact, there might not even be a season to be played at all, if this pandemic isn’t under control by August, when the second wave is expected.

    A sensible plan would be to get together with NFL Films and compile a list of the greatest preseason, regular season and postseason games, Super Bowl, and run the entire season on replay.

  46. I find it hard to believe that we will go from being quarantined to 4 months later being fully comfortable being surrounded by 70,000 strangers in a stadium where you are elbow to elbow with people next to you.

  47. They can plan on a full season in empty stadiums. The t.v. rights with what will be all time high viewership due to a starvation for entertainment will make a lot of money. The season could start in October with the Superbowl in the middle of March. It’s just planning. Nothing these days are in concrete.

  48. It would be very difficult to have even a partial season without fans, but possible. Being optimistic helps, but unless we get very lucky and a magical cure is discovered, ain’t going to happen.

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